Coming back to Missouri Southern was a special moment for Keifer Thompson.

“There’s a certain feeling that happens when you drive back on campus,” he said. “A lot of memories come oating back. I had a good time here.”

Thompson, one half of the husband and wife music duo Thompson Square, was the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Missouri Southern Alumni Association. He and his wife, Shawna, have released two al- bums which produced a combined 10 chart singles on the Hot Country Songs and country airplay charts. Two of these singles, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” and “If I idn’t Have You” reached No. 1 on the charts.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to win some awards, but this is a different thing for me,” said Thompson. “College for me was a way of proving something to myself. No one in my family had graduated from college.

“I wasn’t the honor roll student or involved in a lot of on-campus activities be- cause I was always playing music. That was all I cared about.”

After graduating in 1996 with his bachelor’s in psychology, the Miami, Okla., native made a beeline for Nashville. In his rst week in Music City, he met his future wife at a singing competition. It took nearly 1 years of performing and songwriting, but the Thompsons found success when they combined their musical talents and began working as a duo.

Thompson said they’re in the midst of recording a new album as they prepare to take center stage on an entirely different project parenthood.

He visited campus on Oct. 2 to speak to students and accept the Outstanding Alumnus award during the annual All-Alumni inner.

“It’s a little weird to be receiving an award when people have gone on from here to do great academic things,” he said. “To be recognized just for being from somewhere and for coming out of a small area and doing something big is very humbling and a little surreal.”

But Lee Elliff Pound, director of the Alumni Association, said when it comes to recognizing Missouri Southern alumni, Thompson’s success in the music business speaks for itself.

“All you have to do is take a look at Keifer’s career and what he’s been able to do,” said Pound. “We couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishments with his wife, Shawna. He’s more than worthy of receiving this award.”